STAAR tests will not determine grade placement this year

By  | 

COLLEGE STATION - The Texas Education Commissioner has decided to waive promotion requirements for this year's STAAR tests. This comes after several school districts had problems during testing.

Superintendent Pete Bieski, of Mumford ISD, tells us he only wishes the decision was made sooner. He said the wait time caused students and parents extra worrying, as many students prepared for a 3rd round of testing.

College Station ISD told News 3 Tuesday about what this means for their students.

Parents of 5th grade and 8th grade students this year no longer have to depend on STAAR tests to determine whether their student will advance to the next grade.

Jennifer Jones is a parent of 2 elementary school boys.

"As a parent, if I knew there were glitches, and there was no way for them to retake or fix the test. I guess so to speak - I would be happy to see it count - but not count as pass, fail,” said Jennifer Jones.

Students had three opportunities to receive a passing grade on the math and reading portion of the STAAR test, around 230 students in College Station were prepping for the 3rd opportunity to pass.

"We had identified our students, and we have teachers and staff in place - providing instruction for a week when we received word that there would not be a third administration,” said Molley Perry, College Station ISD’s Executive Director of Accountability.

The students enrolled in supplemental instruction no longer have to continue the tutoring. Perry says the number of students taking the course has not dipped much.

"Our students and parents have taken advantage of that continued opportunity throughout this week. We've only a few to decline in participation,” said Perry.

College Station ISD will use other factors to decide if students are ready for the next grade.

"The student’s grades academically throughout the school year as well as their attendance,” said Perry.

Jones is happy to see a decision made.

"For it to take as long as it did, I'm finally glad they came to a decision about it, and I know other parents are as well,” said Jones.

The STAAR test results for this year will still count toward school accountability, it just will no longer decide if a student passes or fails the 5th or 8th grade.

Another challenge facing school districts is the results from tests in 3rd through 8th grade are delayed. Those results were expected this week. College Station ISD tells us they received that information Monday.